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 Special Delivery, Arthur Chase
Ike Jennison
 Posted: May 15 2012, 12:25 AM
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Of the pair of men running Jennison and Sullivan's Mechanics and Sundry, Ike was the less likely to make housecalls. Michael spent many of his days chasing about New Venice fixing this airship or that boiler, ensuring that the big parts of the city were running smoothly. Ike, on the other hand, mostly stayed holed up in his workshop and fixed whatever little pieces of work were given to him. Seeing Ike outside the office during work hours either meant that Michael was otherwise employed and Ike had gone in his place, or that whatever he was doing was very, very important. There were some things, after all, that simply couldn't be trusted with couriers, no matter how reliable and well-paid. Certain people deserved personal visits when their work was completed.

It helped in collecting the proper fee, as well.

But that was how Ike found himself halfway across the city on a Thursday evening, a brown-paper-wrapped package nestled tightly under one arm and the front of his old wool coat clutched tightly closed in his free hand. Winter in the city was not quite so bad as the winters in upstate New Venice he remembered from his childhood, but cold and wet were cold and wet, and the biting wind didn't help matters any. The fairly sunny day had given way to a thick, damp, and chilly night, and as he glanced back over his shoulder once at the cab that trundled away divested of its load, he sighed. The Estates were one of those places you tried to avoid going unless you absolutely belonged there. Ike much preferred to conduct all his business through the workshop: people dropped off projects, received a telegram when the projects were done, and picked them up. Everything stayed in one place.

But some people either couldn't be bothered with the effort, or were simply far too busy being themselves to spare that time. Which meant that, if he wanted to continue the business he had inherited from old Doc White, Ike needed to pay visits to those personalities. Even the ones he didn't like personally - and Senator Chase, with his outspoken opinions and disgust for Wonders, was certainly one of those. Ike had made a delivery to the man only once before, and though he remembered the house, the last delivery had been during the day. The place looked different at night, he mused as he walked around the side to the tradesman's entrance. Just another reminder of class differences. He genuinely wanted to like everyone he came across, but Arthur Chase made it...very difficult. But he knocked anyway. Trade was trade.

He offered the man who opened the door a slight smile, though he made no effort to step more than a few feet inside the building. "I've a package for Senator Chase," he said mildly. "I'd prefer to hand-deliver them, if possible. Tell him Ike Jennison is calling for him." He ought to have made an appointment, he really ought to have. Hopefully the Senator would understand.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: May 17 2012, 10:19 AM
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He was revising the draft for the proposal. Wonder Registration was the next big step, he knew, and if he could get the proposal written into law, then they'd really be cooking. Of course, like so many things about the government, it had to be worded just right, which meant a lot of time finangling certain words into the document and much less time actually getting the proposal pushed forward. It aggravated him to be kept mired like this, but it was all a part of the job.

Glancing up at the polite knock, he smiled at the footman. "Yes, Grary, what is it?"

"Are you busy, sir?"

"I'm finding this work so honestly horrible that I would give anything not to be busy, so please, out with it," he responded, standing with a slight laugh.

The footman smiled. "You've got an Ike Jennison at the door with a package for you."

It took him a couple of seconds, but then Arthur brightened. "Oh! That must be Elizabeth's watch," he said, pleased. His activist wife had gotten it broken during some rally or another. He wished she could have been slightly less involved, but her involvement in that stuff was one of the things that made him love her. He remembered being offered her older, prettier sister at the start, but he hadn't been able to keep his eyes off her, as astonishing as some people may have found that. Her passion lit her up from the inside. Her sister, on the other hand, was as dull as clay.

He stepped from his study and quickly made his way down the stairs, smiling widely at the man. "Mr. Jennison! How strange to see you out and about," he said, with his usual warm smile. "I have to admit, I wasn't expecting this back so quickly, but Elizabeth will be absolutely thrilled. She's out at the moment for a Women's Rights meeting, but I'm sure she'd love to thank you personally, when you have the time."
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Ike Jennison
 Posted: May 23 2012, 12:55 AM
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At his patron's arrival, Ike bowed. It wasn't any sort of deep, effacing bow, but simply a slight courteous dip, as might have been more common overseas at the time. "Senator Chase," he said pleasantly, smiling in response to Arthur's own smile and offering the man the package. "It was no trouble at all, easy enough fix, I've certainly seen worse. She would have had to do a great deal more to make things difficult for me." As far as Ike was concerned, if the watch was neither filled with sand nor smashed with a hammer, it was both fixable and worth the time and effort. A little disarray from some fracas or another at a rally was an easy fix. "Give her my regards, if you would, and I would be glad to speak with her at any time she finds convenient."

He couldn't begrudge the time and extra effort to a woman of means who nonetheless devoted her time to the causes of the voiceless. A treacherous little voice at the back of his head reminded him that women's rights directly affected Elizabeth Chase, and if they didn't, she no doubt would have ignored them. He pushed it out of his mind.

"It's nice to see the movement for suffrage," he said pleasantly, keeping his voice light even as he generalized slightly away from simply the rights of women and into the rights of everyone. It wouldn't do to offend the Senator, but Ike couldn't in good conscience ignore the other groups about which he worried all-too-frequently. And Chase gave every air of being a reasonable man. "I think it's high time all our country's people finally receive the rights they deserve. Women have been waiting far too long." First the slaves, then the Wonders, now women...the country certainly seemed to be moving in the right direction.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: May 23 2012, 03:35 PM
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Taking the package, Arthur grinned at the man. "I will certainly do so. And yes, I do agree -- although it certainly takes such a long time to hammer out the details of suffrage, or equal rights in general." They'd liberated the slaves and given Wonders equal footing on a technical level, but the former were still mistreated and the latter were still in hiding. "But I've the fullest confidence in our ability to push things forward... although it feels awfully slow at times, doesn't it?"
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Ike Jennison
 Posted: May 25 2012, 01:26 AM
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"It does." Ike nodded, a little sadly. "Unfortunately, it's human nature to hate things that are different, I suppose. Lord knows I've seen my fair share of bricks through the window." He shrugged. "But I have faith in the species. There are enough of us who want to do good that I think eventually good will be done." He paused awkwardly then, looking all around himself before returning his attention to the other man and smiling sheepishly. "I'm sorry, Senator, I'm afraid I'm not always the best at driving conversations. Watches don't make for stimulating intercourse, you must understand. ...Though I suppose some people are very nearly as dull," he added thoughtfully.
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Arthur Chase
 Posted: May 30 2012, 10:23 PM
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Arthur shook his head. "Now, I don't allow self-depreciating in my house, Mr. Jennison," he berated the man teasingly, with a bit of a wink. "Besides, I find this sort of conversation to be absolutely stimulating. I do agree that there are enough good-hearted people out there, although sometimes I wonder if the few bad apples we have don't just go and ruin it for everyone. It seems that when it comes to people, the rotten ones are always twice as rotten as the rest are not."
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